Friday, 29 April 2016

Langkawi Trip For BDB Climb & Run Langkawi 2016

The race route preview here

Courtesy of Bina Darulaman Berhad, a company incorporated on 7 February 1995 and is an investment holding company responsible for the development of township, construction, road works, quarry, golf, and leisure via its subsidiaries in Kedah and mind@works Communications Sdn Bhd; a group of runners and bloggers were invited to do a route preview of BDB Climb & Run Langkawi 2016.

A friend had, on behalf of the organiser asked me to help provide the names of bloggers to attend the preview and I immediately got busy contacting friends who might be interested to attend the preview. Truthfully, quite a number turned down the offer as they were racing elsewhere but a few notable runners and bloggers agreed to join. *phew*

It's hard work contacting people and creating a list that has a mix of different type of runners in it, hoccay? I took it upon me to have a good mix in the list that I later sent to the friend. HAHAHA (the things I do for friends... kekeke)

Anyways...
My first visit to Subang Airport in 19 years. The last time we were here, Hubby and I were flying off to Hong Kong.

And here, with notable runners in the running (and ultra running) scene.
We got on-board Firefly at 3.55pm and one hour later, arrived Langkawi safely.

Comfy trip, efficient crew members... nothing to complain about our flight - departing and returning.
Bloggers at work. Hihihi

At Langkawi Airport, waiting for our transport while enjoying the free wi-fi.
We all bundled in the two vans provided by the organiser for our group. Our van was driven by none other than the Race Director himself, Ariff.
We made a stop at Hutan Lipur Lubuk Semilang to check out the Tangga Helang Seribu Kenangan before the preview the next day.

Just look-see, look-see first on the first day of our trip.
We checked-in at Geopark Inn located in the heart off Kuah Town and is only 5 minutes drive from jetty terminal and 25 minutes drive from Langkawi International Airport.
Pretty decent room and amenities provided at the hotel. With room rates starting from RM60 onwards, Geopark Inn is a good choice for those who doesn't want to splurge but still wants comfort at an affordable price.

It's also just a running distance to Dataran Lang (or one could drive there lah...)

After relaxing in our room and later enjoying the sunset view in Langkawi, it was time for dinner and route preview briefing; which was held at Schawan.
Lotfi Ismail from minds@work Communications giving an opening remark before the start of our dinner.

We later had a "sesi suai-kenal" with each other. ^^
Encik Sajahan Abdul Waheed, the Senior Manager, Group Corporate Communication from Bina Darulaman Berhad.
The BDB Climb & Run Langkawi 2016 Race Director, Ariff Syafik. A fellow runner too and a good one, at that.
Dr Abdul Ghani or fondly known as Pak Din, a renowned figure in Langkawi who is a medical doctor and now concentrating on traditional Malay and Islamic medicine.

He briefed us about the flora and fauna to be found at Gunung Raya where we would be climbing and running down the next day.
A filling dinner and the it was time for lucky draw with 3 Brooks Pure Grit 4 up for grabs.

And I won one of them! Yeay!

Thank you Damian Cheah & Brooks Malaysia!
A group photo before we ended our dinner session and headed back to our respective room to rest before the preview the next day.

We started our route preview at 8.00am on Sunday, after breakfast with the group at a nearby Mamak.

There were two groups, the first group had gone back to their hotel rooms earlier in one of the vans but as I did both the stairs and some of the downhill road section (just 9K out f 15.5K huhuhu), we waited until the last runner completed their run.

After resting and chatting, it was about 12.00pm when we made our move from Hutan Lipur Lubuk Semilang back to our hotel and checked-out at 1.00pm.
Our flight was at 3.55pm and we had a nice leisurely lunch with the whole gang.

Laksa was the favourite.

Next time I visit Langkawi, I wanna go eat the Laksa Ikan Sekoq. It's just next to the airport...
The organising team saw us off and again, thank you for the hospitality.

I am certainly looking forward to return to Langkawi and also to do Jitra Marathon which is part of the BDB Triple Challenge 2016.
The BDB Triple Challenge consists of three separate events in Langkawi and Jitra, Kedah:

  • Climb & Run Langkawi on 4 June 2016
  • Extreme Jitra on 10 September 2016
  • Jitra Marathon on 26 November 2016
For more information and registration, head to:

I wonder if the organiser will organise a preview for the obstacle challenge (Extreme Jitra) and the Marathon route too? #tamak HIHIHI

Anyways, as I don't like obstacle races, maybe I'll just see you in Langkawi and later for Jitra Marathon, yeah?

Do come and join one if not all the races. 

The BDB Triple Challenge, if one register for it is affordable at RM200. RM200 for three races is a bargain!

Plus, it's a nice change from running around KL and Putrajaya (or even Penang) for me.

See you there!

To those involved - thank you so much for your hospitality. 

Fundraising Screening Of Langtang

Summits of my life

April 25 2016
Something amazing happened all over the world! More than 30 worldwide screenings. With one goal.

To rebuild Langtang.
From Team Running Project which hosted the screening in Putrajaya, Malaysia, thanks all for helping Nepal!

#SOSNepal

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Langtang : Summits of My Life 3 By Kilian Jornet Charity Screening

Yesterday, on Apr 25th 2016, a special charity screening was held all around the world to mark the anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Nepal in 2015.
 
Excerpt from Summits of My Life blog:
Kilian Jornet presents ‘Langtang‘, the third film in the Summits of My Life project. Directed by Sébastien Montaz-Rosset, the film is the story of a journey to the heart of Nepal.
 
In April 2015, ultra runner Kilian Jornet is preparing for an expedition to Everest as part of his project, `Summits of My Life’, together with alpinist Jordi Tosas and filmmaker Sébastien Montaz-Rosset.

Two days before departure, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hits Nepal with devastating effect and Jordi’s beloved Langtang Valley is all but eradicated. Putting their original objective to one side, the team travel to Nepal with the hope of offering help in the place that they hold in their hearts.

"Langtang"‘ is very different from the previous films in the Summits of My Life project.

Athletic objectives are put to one side as the film documents the days following the earthquake with the team being some of the first to enter the Langtang Valley. Their emotions are reflected in the film, as initial confusion gives way to optimism. The Nepali people remain positive and optimistic as they gather their strength to rebuild their lives.

“Langtang was a very particular experience for me, I have never filmed anything so emotional. It may seem like a tough story but it’s also very optimistic. Only the nepalese people can win this fight”, Sébastien Montaz-Rosset explained.
Photo from Summit of My Life

From Malaysia side, I excitedly jumped on the bandwagon when I heard Team Running Project is getting on-board for the special screening here and offered my help.
"Busy helping out" Photo credit : Rany Tan

MYNIC Berhad, which is also the organiser for Mybuddies run had generously pledged to donate 5 euros for each viewers at the screening held by Team Running Project to be donated. With the pledge, Team Running Project was able to offer complimentary viewing for the public who are interested in the cause.

With the kind sponsorship from Ten Senses Sdn Bhd, the team got a hall rented at GSC IOI City Mall, Putrajaya.

Moola Snack Bar was on board too, providing a snack bar for each of the Langtang viewer that night.

With just a small hall available, the team had to "ration" the viewers for the screening. Sorta.

Running Project offered a number of seats for the public and ALL were taken up in a matter of hours. Those who weren't able to get a seat were put in waiting list for any cancellation.

It sure touched me at how much the running community are interested in Kilian Jornet's cause.

The team had also a list of special invited guests - ranging from representative of running groups, race photographers, runners and sponsors too. Not many though and it was a pity that we can't invite everyone. We wanted to, but we didn't have enough sponsorship $$$.

I was also touched at how humble people are. A top marathoner asking what he could do at the screening. Well-known race photographers insisted on taking photos at the event despite being told to just come and watch movie. Guests offering to pay for the seats.
Razif Yahya from Running Project. He made the screening happen for Malaysia.
Anyways, if I may be bold to represent Team Running Project here:

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude at everyone's support in helping Langtang.
On top of the pledge from MYNIC Berhad, the team collected about RM700 that night from the viewers.

THANK YOU!

All proceeds collected will go towards Summits of my life charitable project. The proceeds will go towards re-building 116 houses in Langtang and allow the families there return to their homes.

For those who wish to donate, you can do it directly to:
http://www.migranodearena.org/es/reto/8922/langtang/

p.s. I'll put up the team's photo tonight. ^^

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Press Release : STANDARD CHARTERED KL MARATHON CLOSES REGISTRATION AS 35,000 RUNNERS SIGNED UP

Standard Chartered KL Marathon receives positive support and uptake from runners 

KUALA LUMPUR, 27 th April 2016: Race owner and organiser of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2016 (SCKLM), Dirigo Events announced that all 35,000 slots for the 2016 edition of Standard Chartered KL Marathon has been taken up. This will be SCKLM’s eighth edition and is scheduled to take place on Sunday, 7 th August at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur.

There was also an initiative that gave participants of the 2015 race priority to register for the race. The move was warmly received as approximately 40% of the participants took up the opportunity to sign on for the race.

Rainer Biemans, Director of Dirigo Events Sdn. Bhd., Event Owner and Organiser of Standard Chartered KL Marathon, said, “The positive uptake shown by the runners deeply humbled us and we look forward to delivering a great race experience all the way to race day. We are encouraged by Standard Chartered Bank’s commitment to the Marathon and we would like to thank all runners and the Standard Chartered KL Marathon family of stakeholders, sponsors, partners and supporters for making the Marathon possible.”

Mahendra Gursahani, Managing Director and CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia said, “To see so many runners returning and motivated to join the Standard Chartered KL Marathon gives us an extra spring in our step in putting together a great race. We are pleased to be a platform for ordinary people to do extraordinary things, and we are proud to be part of their journey in encouraging the community to get involved in sports and adopt a healthier lifestyle.”

Interested participants of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon will still be able to take part through its Run For A Reason initiative where you could raise funds for a selected beneficiary. Information are as follows:

  • Corporate Challenge – The 10 KM category is still available for registrations. All donations from the race will go to the Standard Chartered KL Marathon beneficiaries.
  • Be a “Run For A Reason” runner – Limited slots are still available for individuals who are looking to raise funds for their selected beneficiaries. Runners will get to setup a fundraising profile page to share with friends, family and the public. Raise RM500 and you are entitled to receive an exclusive Run For A Reason t-shirt from one of SCKLM’s official charity partners.
  • Supporting the “Run For A Reason” runners – Pick a charity that you would like to support, and make a donation to our “Run For A Reason” runners who have pledged their commitment to raise funds for their chosen beneficiaries. 
This year’s participating beneficiaries for Run For A Reason are Standard Chartered Foundation (SCF), Hospis Malaysia, Yayasan Sejahtera and IJN Foundation.

Alternatively to be a part of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon, you could do the following:
  • Be a volunteer – More than 1,500 volunteers are needed to help on Race Day and you can be one of them. Stay tuned to the Standard Chartered KL Marathon announcements on social media for volunteer registrations.
  • Be a supporter – Cheer and support your friends and families all the way to the finish line in their race and add festivity to the event!
Rainer Biemans, Director of Dirigo Events Sdn. Bhd., Event Owner and Organiser of Standard Chartered KL Marathon also further added, “Running the race in the Standard Chartered KL Marathon is an amazing journey, and part of that journey involves preparing one’s mind and body. To help runners prepare for their race, we will be announcing dates of our Standard Chartered KL Marathon running clinics which will be led by our official coach, Mark Williams where he will share his experience and expertise to all runners.”

The Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2016 is made possible by title sponsor Standard Chartered Bank, and along with event owner and organiser, Dirigo Events Sdn. Bhd. and co-organiser Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur.

For more information and updates on SCKLM, please visit:

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/SCKLmarathon
Twitter : www.twitter.com/SCKLmarathon
Instagram : https://instagram.com/SCKLmarathon
Website : www.kl-marathon.com

Sunday, 24 April 2016

BDB Climb And Run Langkawi 2016 Route Preview

About two weeks ago, a rep (and a friend) of the BDB Triple Challenge 2016 asked me whether I'd be free on Apr 23rd-24th to do a preview route run of a race in Langkawi.

I didn't even hesitate to say YES!

BDB Triple Challenge 2016 is a series 3 separate events in scenic Langkawi and Jitra for the running and climbing enthusiasts.
  • Langkawi Climb and Run ( 4.06.2016)
  • Extreme Jitra - obstacle run (10.09.2016)
  • Jitra Marathon (26.11.2016)
Info on the 3 series can be found at their FB page or Hooha registration page.

Hubby, myself and a few other bloggers flew in to Langkawi by Firefly on Saturday evening and did the preview run on Sunday morning, after breakfast at a mamak place near GeoPark Inn where we were staying during the trip. More on that experience later...

First, let's talk about the climb and run experience.
We got to Hutan Lipur Lubuk Semilang, Langkawi at 8.00am for the start of the climb and run route preview.

The forest reserve is located on the western side of Gunung Raya and the start/finish line of BDB Climb and Run Langkawi is near the Sungai Korok where one can have a picnic and a dip. Sure nice to have a dip there after finishing our run, right?

A short briefing by the Race Director, Ariff before we all proceeded to the 4,287 steps of Tangga Helang Seribu Kenangan.
A mixture of running bloggers; most of whom are seasoned ultra runners (with one fun runner in the mix - you know who la...) and fitness & lifestyle bloggers. The technical and the PR team also consisted of runners.

Having no intention of racing up, Zaini and I started slow and kept to the back of the pack. 
At the 1000 steps mark.

While at first both Zaini and I told the organiser that we could help by being the sweeper, Zaini later asked me to move ahead while he waited for slower runners and accompanied one who later decided to stop and climb back down.

I just made a slow climb, stopping and taking photos at whatever caught my eye.

OK. So it is stairs. And we climbed all 4,287 of it.

But it was bearable because:
  • cool, shaded forest route
  • interesting stuff to see - mushrooms, plants, trees, etc
  • some runners heard and saw the great hornbill too! 
2,000 steps mark.

2,287 to go!

At each flight of stairs, there were the number of steps written. Some visible. Some aren't.
A fallen tree along the route.
Fallen log that served as a resting place too.
3,060 steps.

From this point forward, the ascent got much, much steeper and more challenging.

Some areas had handrails on both sides of the stairs but some, don't. But please, don't stray away from the stairs, ya?
Amusing myself with picking up things and taking photos.
A bit of respite from all that climbing; a descent. Just a bit though.

Which is good because my knees don't like going down any stairs.

Then it's all climb and the steepest ones were the last few hundred before the end of the stairs.

And the organiser had a photographer stationed there! Darn! LOL
At the top of the stairs. 

On good weather days, we can see Pulau Tepur but it was misty when we were there. 

The faster runners did the stairs in around 40minutes while those with semput, selfie pace probably can do it within 2 hours. I did the stairs in about 2-hours.

Not sure whether the organiser will put a cut-off time at the top of the stairs...

Now, as the name implies - runners need to climb and run in BDB Climb and Run Langkawi 2016 so after tackling the 4,287 stairs, runners now have to run downhill for 15.5km back to the start line. 

For those who hate downhill, fret not. It's not totally steep downhill like Bukit Larut. The descent is gradual with a number of small inclines and flat stretches too. 

Plus, the last 5K is a mental stretch along a main road. Plenty of inclines (bumps) and not much of a shade. Fun stuff, I tell you. Bwahaha
Running downhill was nice.

Plenty of stuff to see and enjoy. Got cows, monkeys to keep runners company.

Nice "mat salleh" tourists on motorcycle giving encouragement too.
Lonely stretch as I was alone by this time.

At almost 11am, the route was still quite cooling, helped by the shaded area and nice breeze. 
500 feet above sea level.

At this point, I was about 5-6km away from the finish line.

I didn't do the whole route though. As I was approaching the junction towards the main road and for the final 5K, the organiser van came and asked whether I wanted to continue or hop on the van.

I chose the latter. I already did 9K+ of road running (not inclusive of the stairs) and it's OK already lah for me, especially considering I had no plans to run the downhill part of the route in the first place! Plus I want to return to my hotel room before 1pm!

I had earlier told the organiser I only intended to do the stairs and use the support car to go down but when Ariff (the RD) asked whether I wanted to run, I sort of agreed. *slap forehead*
With the runners who completed the full route (plus some extra mileage) at the start line, all fully clothed by now.

When I arrived earlier, most were topless! Hahaha (No, no female runners in the mix at that moment)
As mentioned earlier, the BDB Triple Challenge consisted of three events.

One can register each event individually or register for all three for just RM200 for the series which I think is very, very affordable.

Registration can be done over at: https://home.hooha.asia/BDBTripleChallenge2016.aspx

A word of advice for participants doing the Climb and Run especially to non-runners who might be thinking of joining.
Do, do train for the 15K run. 15K downhill run is no joke after a 3K stair climbing.

That is all.

But from my experience, it was certainly a good challenge to do and I personally think climbing those stairs are more fun than doing the KL Tower stairs! Hehehe

Our heartfelt gratitude to the organiser, technical, PR team and sponsors who made our weekend an awesome one.

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